Top List Of Liver-Friendly Foods!

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

The liver is one of the most important organs in the body. As the name implies, you need it to live: If the liver gives out, it really doesn’t matter if everything else is in working order. In this article, you’ll learn about which foods you can add to your diet to help it do its job and keep you healthy and alive for many years to come.

What is the liver, and why is it so important?

The liver is the largest gland in the human body. Its primary purpose is to detoxify your body and protect it from potentially harmful substances you might ingest. It breaks down alcohol and drugs that enter the body (when you drink alcohol at a rate faster than your liver can metabolize it, you become drunk). The liver also stores iron and vitamins to help the immune system and helps break down stored sugars in the body into a usable form to provide energy.

The liver also helps break down old red blood cells so that fresh ones can take their place, as well as insulin and hemoglobin. As you can see, the liver plays a key role in so many different systems in the body that if something goes wrong with it, the whole body will go haywire.

Excessive alcohol consumption can damage the liver, effectively causing it to age prematurely by building up scar tissue, a condition called cirrhosis. Certain types of medications, like acetaminophen (also known as paracetamol) can be very taxing on the liver, and it should be used sparingly, especially if you’ve been or drinking alcohol or plan to do so the same day.

In addition to making sure you drink only in moderation, diet plays a big role in ensuring the health of your liver. There are many different foods that help nourish the liver and keep it functioning properly, and these are presented below.

 

1. Cruciferous (leafy) green vegetables

Cruciferous (leafy) green vegetables are excellent for the liver. In addition to being packed with vitamins A, C, and K, leafy greens like kale, mustard greens, and spinach contain chlorophyll, which negates the harmful effects of heavy metals and environmental toxins. This helps take some of the burden off your liver. (Chlorophyll is also what gives leafy plants their green color).

Other leafy greens, such as cabbage and Brussel sprouts, contain glucosinolates, which help the liver produce enzymes that assist in detoxifying the body.

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Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

2. Carrots

Carrots are a good choice for liver health since they are a great source of glutathione, a special type of protein that assists in detoxifying the liver. Beets are also a good source of this protein.

 

3. Garlic

Garlic is rightly considered a superfood for its many health benefits, including helping your liver. Garlic contains selenium which improves liver function, as well as allicin, a special compound that helps cleanse impurities out of the liver. Garlic is also a good source of sulfur, which helps flush toxins out of the liver and allow it to function better. (Unfortunately, the sulfur content is also the reason that garlic gives you bad breath.)

 

4. Turmeric

Turmeric is another item which has been getting a lot of attention in the health food world. This powerful spice helps the liver flush out normal toxins that accumulate in the body, as well as carcinogens (cancer causing compounds).

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Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

5. Oranges, grapefruits, and lemons

Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, and lemons are beneficial for the liver as well. It is common knowledge that these fruits contain large amounts of vitamin C, which helps fight off disease. The liver stores vitamins in order to boost the immune system, so consuming these fruits gives your liver more of what it needs to function properly. Citrus fruits (and the juices derived from them) also help clear out toxins that build up in the liver.

 

6. Foods rich in omega -3 fats

Foods rich in omega -3 fats are quite beneficial to the liver. Good sources of these healthy natural fatty acids include extra virgin olive oil, walnuts, and fatty fish. Walnuts are also a good way to get arginine, an amino acid that helps the liver function better.

 

7. Asparagus

Asparagus is another beneficial veggie for improving overall liver function. Asparagus has diuretic qualities that help flush out toxins from your system and allow the liver and the kidneys to work better.

 

READ ALSO: Top 12 Herbs for Optimal Liver Function

 

As you can see from this list, having a healthy liver coincides with eating an overall healthy diet. Follow these steps to keep this essential organ in good working order.

References:

www.webmd.com

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov